Data management

An organisation’s most valuable asset is often its data, but careful management is required to ensure the maximum benefit is achieved. Studying this module, you'll acquire an understanding of data management principles, practices and technologies, and skills to analyse an organisation's data asset to develop policies and procedures that control, protect and enhance its value. The module is based on the internationally recognised Data Management Association (DAMA) Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK2) Framework (2017). The main teaching text is the associated book, the DAMA-DMBOK Data Management Body of Knowledge, which was written by recognised experts in data management.

Vocational relevance

By studying this module you will work towards data management policies, procedures and systems for an organisation with which you are familiar. As such you will be interacting with other people in that organisation and this may help to raise your professional profile.

Studying this module will also help you prepare to take the DAMA Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) and/or the BCS Certificate in Data Management Essentials examinations, in addition to the OU qualification being sought.


M816 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards M03, which is no longer available to new students.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

What you will study

This module takes a practice-based approach based on an organisation you are familiar with. It gives you the fundamental knowledge and understanding of the data management principles, practices and technologies required to develop policies, procedures and systems that control, protect, deliver and enhance the value of the organisation’s data asset.

You will also have an opportunity to investigate emerging trends in data management and acquire the personal development skills you need to keep abreast of important developments in a rapidly expanding field. In addition, researching information about data management from various sources will give you critical evaluation skills and the ability to write about different approaches to this subject.

The module also covers the following Knowledge Areas (DMBOK2), which describe the scope and context of data management activities:

  • Data Governance, which provides direction and oversight for data management by establishing a system of decision rights over data that accounts for the needs of the enterprise.
  • Data Architecture, which defines the blueprint for managing data assets by aligning with organisational strategy to establish strategic data requirements and designs to meet these requirements.
  • Data Modelling and Design, which is the process of discovering, analysing, representing, and communicating data requirements in a precise form called the data model.
  • Data Storage and Operations, which includes the design, implementation, and support of stored data to maximize its value. Operations provide support throughout the data lifecycle from planning for to disposal of data.
  • Data Security, which ensures that data privacy and confidentiality are maintained, that data is not breached, and that data is accessed appropriately.
  • Data Integration and Interoperability, which includes processes related to the movement and consolidation of data within and between data stores, applications, and organisations.
  • Document and Content Management, which includes planning, implementation, and control activities used to manage the lifecycle of data and information found in a range of unstructured media, especially documents needed to support legal and regulatory compliance requirements.
  • Reference and Master Data, which includes ongoing reconciliation and maintenance of core critical shared data to enable consistent use across systems of the most accurate, timely, and relevant version of truth about essential business entities.
  • Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence, which includes the planning, implementation, and control processes to manage decision support data and to enable knowledge workers to get value from data via analysis and reporting.
  • Metadata, which includes planning, implementation, and control activities to enable access to high quality, integrated Metadata, including definitions, models, data flows, and other information critical to understanding data and the systems through which it is created, maintained, and accessed.
  • Data Quality, which includes the planning and implementation of quality management techniques to measure, assess, and improve the fitness of data for use within an organisation.

In addition to the above Knowledge Areas, the module also covers the following topics:

  • Data Handling Ethics, which describes the central role that data ethics plays in making informed, socially responsible decisions about data and its uses. Awareness of the ethics of data collection, analysis, and use should guide all data management professionals.
  • Big Data and Data Science, which describes the technologies and business processes that emerge as our ability to collect and analyse large and diverse data sets increases.

In the module assessment you will have an opportunity to engage with an organisational problem of your choice, developing new or reviewing existing data management policies, procedures and systems for the organisation. You will also have an opportunity to carry out some independent research by selecting and critically evaluating information resources in order to assess the impact of recent developments in computing on data management.

This module is presented online. All the teaching and assessment materials will be accessible online via a standard web browser, with the exception of the set book which you’ll have to download your own personal copy from the publisher’s website. As all the teaching and assessment materials will also be available as downloads via the module website, you'll be able to study the module offline.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Data management (M816) starts once a year – in November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2023.

We expect it to start for the last time in November 2027.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    It is expected that you will hold a bachelors degree (or equivalent) in computing or a related discipline, or alternatively have at least three years relevant industry experience.

    Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Outside the UK

    The module is based on the internationally recognised Data Management Association (DAMA) Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK2) Framework (2017).


    Start End England fee Register
    01 Nov 2023 Apr 2024 £1580.00

    Registration closes 05/10/23 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2027.

    Future availability

    Data management (M816) starts once a year – in November.

    This page describes the module that will start in November 2023.

    We expect it to start for the last time in November 2027.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:

    • a week-by-week study planner
    • course-specific module materials
    • a wide range of activities to develop technical and professional skills
    • assignment details and submission section
    • online forums.

    You’ll also be provided with the set book, The DAMA-DMBOK Data Management Body of Knowledge (2nd edn), as a PDF file.

    Computing requirements

    You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).

    Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

    It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    If you have a disability

    Some study materials might not be fully accessible using a screen reader.

    If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer, or think you may have difficulty using the online material, contact us about the support that can be given to meet your needs.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.

    Request your prospectus

    Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

    Request prospectus